OHP Cracks Down On Distracted Drivers

Friday, January 21st 2022, 6:33 pm

Dozens of law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma are making a major push to stop drivers who are driving distracted.

This is part of a state-wide campaign in memory of an Oklahoma trooper killed by a distracted driver.

Drivers like Ron Kelley, who were pulled over as part of this effort, said they appreciate the reminder to not drive distracted.

“I appreciate the reminder to not do it, because we get busy and distracted, and that's what we do,” said Kelley.

Officers involved in this effort said it’s personal for them, after Trooper Nick Dees was killed seven years ago on I-40 by a man who was driving while checking his social media.

Troopers who were friends with Dees said his death hit home.

"So this is a very personal situation for us, we really want people to pay attention, as troopers, law enforcement in general, deputies, police officers, we are on the shoulder quite a bit and we would really like to make it home safe,” said Lieutenant Mark Southall.

Southall hopes this initiative will show people the true danger of distracted driving.

“What drivers don't realize is that in about three seconds, if they are doing 60 MPH, they are covering the distance of a football field,” said Southall. “So it takes much longer to compose a text and send and receive, and they cover a lot of distance really quick.”

He added that it is important to keep Dees’s memory alive and to stop the next crash.

"He didn't die in vain. We're here for him, we still think about him, we still remember him, and we're out here working for Nick,” Southall said.

Officials said that if you need to use maps while driving, it's best to either have your phone talk to you or to plug the address into your car's GPS system.